Hiking the family mountain

By MaryAnn Three years ago, my cousin and I got up early on the first day of November, thankful the sun was shining, since it had been windy and rainy during the night. We drove an hour from my house to meet my brother at the trailhead. He had driven four hours from his house so we could … Continue reading Hiking the family mountain

What’s on YOUR feet?

By MaryAnn I have a confession to make: I have a love/hate relationship with shoes. Mostly, I love just going barefoot. But in the winter, or walking across gravel, or grass with sandspurs, it's nice to have some foot protection--otherwise known as shoes. When I was a kid, May 1 was the first official day … Continue reading What’s on YOUR feet?

A weed by any other name…

By MaryAnn Early one morning I was  digging weeds. That's right, digging. For me, it's more rewarding to get the whole plant, roots and all. These grow along the edge of my driveway in some wonderful soil where I would rather plant daylilies. Or at least something besides weeds.  Look--I even took a picture so you … Continue reading A weed by any other name…

That’s RUDE!

By MaryAnn "If your mother didn't tell you, then I will: that's RUDE!" screamed the little boy as the boy next door grabbed the shovel out of his hands. This scene remains one of my most vivid lessons about manners. We were burying a squirrel in the woods near our house, and all the neighbor … Continue reading That’s RUDE!

Work is a four-letter word!

By MaryAnn First, let me post a disclaimer: this blog post is not about my current job! It's about some of the other jobs I had along the way to this one. That list  includes the  summer spent working as a farm laborer, and one working at the local drive-in (restaurant, not movie theater, for … Continue reading Work is a four-letter word!

What’s in YOUR attic?

By MaryAnn As a child,  I was intrigued by the disappearing  staircase at my grandmother's house.  Because my grandmother, being a rather large woman, was afraid to climb those stairs, I was even more interested in what might be lurking just above that ceiling! My parents' house had a boring attic, which was easily accessible … Continue reading What’s in YOUR attic?

When you get in a hurry, slow down!

  By MaryAnn "When you get in a hurry, slow down!" The first time I heard that phrase I was nineteen years old. My first thought was, "What a stupid thing to say!" I was in training for my summer job, waiting tables three meals a day. In addition, the waitstaff was expected to fold … Continue reading When you get in a hurry, slow down!

The importance of being family

By MaryAnn Having recently attended the 160th reunion of my father's side of the family,  I thought I'd expound on the importance of being family.  Although when most people talk about family reunions, they mention a large crowd of 50 or so, our particular reunion traditionally features 200-300 of my closest relatives. And our reunion may also be unusual … Continue reading The importance of being family

Where the wild things are (with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

By MaryAnn About twenty years ago, I lived in a house in the country.  At this house, I had no paved road, no cable, no internet,  and no streetlights. In the country,  I never saw a bear or a raccoon. Of course, this might be because some of my neighbors had guns and dogs, but even so, … Continue reading Where the wild things are (with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

What I don’t know about Carl Sandburg

By MaryAnn What I don't know about Carl Sandburg would fill a whole library. Even though the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site  is within driving distance of my house, and even though I'm a North Carolina native, my knowledge of him is sorely lacking! I've actually been to his historic homesite in Flat Rock … Continue reading What I don’t know about Carl Sandburg